On the season one DVD audio commentary, Vince Gilligan revealed that Jesse was originally going to die by the end of season one. However, they changed their minds after seeing Aaron Paul's performance.
The first episode to the second half of Season 5 is dedicated to Kevin Cordasco, a teen Superfan of the show who died of cancer in March of 2013. Before his death Kevin was able to meet Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan and other prominent members of the Breaking Bad family, and he was even offered the chance to read the final scripts of the series so he would know how the show ends. Kevin declined, as he didn't think he could keep the secret.
The actor who portrays Walter Jr. in the series (RJ Mitte), actually has cerebral palsy like his character on the show. However, his real life affliction is much milder than his character's, and he had to learn to walk with crutches and slow down his speech to play the part.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson has admitted in interviews that he is a huge fan of Breaking Bad. At one point, both Breaking Bad and "Marvel's The Avengers" were filming on separate lots in the same Albuquerque, New Mexico studio. Samuel Jackson wanted to have a cameo appearance in which he walked on to the set of Los Pollos Hermanos, dressed as Nick Fury, completely unannounced as if he were a customer buying chicken from the restaurant. Unfortunately the plans fell through as the shooting schedule didn't allow enough time for him to break away from the set of the Avengers, as the Avengers shot during the night, while Breaking Bad shot during the day.
Gus Fring was originally supposed to appear in only three or four episodes. Giancarlo Esposito was asked to return for seven episodes in season three. But Esposito refused to return unless he could appear in more episodes. He ended up appearing in 11 episodes in the third season.
Vince Gilligan said in an interview that, retrospectively, having season one shortened due to the writer's strike actually helped him because he had planned to evolved Walt into evilness faster to conclude the season in a shocking way. With the strike, he could write the evolution gradually.
A main plot point of Breaking Bad concerns the main character, Walt, being a bona fide chemistry genius. Marius Stan, who plays Walt's impressively-eyebrowed boss at the carwash Bogdan, in real life is an actual chemistry genius. He has a PhD in Chemistry, and still works in that field. Breaking Bad was his first foray into acting.
But for the writers' strike in the first season, Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman would have been written out by the 9th episode. During the hiatus caused by the strike, creator Vince Gilligan reconsidered and, impressed by Paul's portrayal of Jesse, decided to reinstate the character.
Characters and their values are represented by the colors they wear. Skyler is usually dressed in blue and Jesse in yellow and red (when he is in recovery, he wears gray). Walter wears green because he is stuck between his family and the drug trade. When the Whites' daughter is born, pink is introduced to the spectrum. Similar color patterns show up during the series. The DEA agents, Hank and Gomez, wear orange, representing police. Marie is usually in purple and many of the other doctors on the show are seen in it as well. And Jane, the recovering heroin addict, wears black.
In the beginning of each episode, the chemical formula C10H15N along with the number 149.24 and the word "Meth" can be seen just before the title Breaking Bad appears. C10H15N is the formula for methamphetamine, which has the molecular weight of 149.24.
On the Breaking Bad podcast, Creator Vince Gilligan revealed that Mark Margolis (Hector "Tio" Salamanca) was initially intended to become the main antagonist from Season 3 on, however they eventually decided to upgrade Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) from guest appearances into the series' main antagonist instead.
Walter White's alias, Heisenberg, is a tribute to Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the uncertainty principle, which states that it is impossible to determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of an electron or any other particle with any great degree of accuracy or certainty.
Lead actor Bryan Cranston stated in an interview that the term "breaking bad" is a southern colloquialism and it means when someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow, when they've gone wrong. And that could be for that day or for a lifetime.
A plotline was written for the third season in which Walt visits a South American drug lord in prison to convince him to help him put Gus Fring out of business. But the writers could not figure out how Walt would be able to connect with the drug lord so it was discarded.
Before working together on Breaking Bad (2008), Vince Gilligan had already cast Bryan Cranston against his usual type in "Drive," an episode of The X-Files (1993) that Gilligan wrote in which Cranston played a white supremacist with an infection that made his head explode if his car's speed dipped below 50 miles per hour. Gilligan has said their collaboration in this episode convinced him that Cranston was the only actor who could portray Walter White as they had a hard time finding someone who could portray a sympathetic villain when casting "The X-Files" episode.
Gus Fring was originally written as a character named Kesyer Söze (a reference to The Usual Suspects (1995)). Söze was supposed to appear late in the first season but a writers strike shortened the season. Giancarlo Esposito who played Gus appeared in The Usual Suspects.
In 2005, after Showtime, TNT and HBO rejected the initial pitch for "Breaking Bad" FX stepped in and immediately began development on the pilot, but eventually passed on the project in favour of the Courteney Cox show "Dirt" in a bid to draw more female viewers.
As the series progresses, the character of Walter White starts wearing more and more white or light-colored clothing. Several Season 5 episodes have him wearing almost no other color than white or light beige.
According to Giancarlo Esposito, he based his performance as Gus Fring on Edward James Olmos's performance as Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice (1984). He noticed that Olmos was very quiet and still but suggested an inner turmoil. Esposito guest starred on that series three times.
During an August 2013 interview with Terry Gross on her public radio program "Fresh Air," Bob Odenkirk said that when he first heard a description of the character he ended up playing, Saul Goodman, from the showrunner Vince Gilligan, Odenkirk heard the character's name and said that he might not be the best choice for the role because he isn't Jewish. Gilligan responded that Saul Goodman isn't actually Jewish either--that "Goodman" is a fake last name that the character adopted because he thought it sounded stereotypically Jewish. Odenkirk also told Gross that Goodman's odd hairstyle--a thinning combover-mullet combination--was his idea.
Betsy Brandt was pregnant during season two. Whenever she reached the point in the pregnancy that Skyler was supposed to be, the producers would do pick-up shots with her as the fake bare belly on Anna Gunn.
Samuel L. Jackson showed up unannounced during filming on the Pollos Hermanos set one day, dressed in his Nick Fury outfit from The Avengers (2012). Both productions of Breaking Bad and The Avengers were happening on the same studio lot, and Jackson wanted to be an extra during the scene being filmed. The producers denied his request to appear as Nick Fury on the show.
Two series casting directors - Shari Rhodes and Gwyn Savage - died within 32 days of each other during the show's production. Memorial tributes were screened during the respective post credit episode sequences.
As of 2012, there have only been five episodes where stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul do not share any scenes together. They are episode 2.6 "Peekaboo", episode 3.2 "Caballo Sin Nombre", episode 3.3 "I.F.T." , episode 4.10 "Salud", and episode 5.10 "Buried".
The name of the Whites' baby girl, Holly, is another in Vince Gilligan's many career-long references to his longtime girlfriend, Holly Rice that have been included in his scripts. There were also references to Rice in nearly all of Gilligan's episodes of _"The X-Files" (1993)_
The popularity of the TV series spawned a cottage industry for a variety of Albuquerque (NM) citizens, including everything from cosmetics, spa, bathroom and 'blue rock' candy products to a tour of both the good and bad locations used in the series.
Although the main character of this show is someone who commits many serious crimes (including money laundering, murder, and manufacturing and distributing an illegal and very dangerous drug), from the start of the show, a great deal of fan hatred has focused not on him but on his wife, Skyler (played by Anna Gunn). Fans have created many Facebook and other Web pages dedicated to enumerating Skyler's perceived flaws. This became so well-known that Gunn herself wrote an August 24, 2013, New York Times op-ed titled "I Have a Character Issue" about the phenomenon of TV viewers hating strong female characters such as Skyler, Carmela Soprano of "The Sopranos," and Betty Draper of "Mad Men" despite the fact that they are wives of male characters who engage in much less sympathetic and often outright criminal behavior.
Walt's car is a well-used 2003 Pontiac Aztek, repainted a pale non-factory dull-green chosen by series creator Vince Gilligan perhaps to mimic a faded original paint job and thus symbolize Walt's previous bland existence. The windshield has been broken and replaced several times due to catastrophes both great and small, all traceable to Walt's descent into the drug world. Though Pontiac's Aztek was widely derided as ugly, overpriced and beset with quality issues (it never met sales quotas), it has built a loyal following for its versatility and is considered something of a good used-car deal - a deliberate analogy maybe to Walt's survival skills in his dangerous second career. The show's production keeps at least 2 Azteks equipped for different filming situations.
In his August 2013 Terry Gross interview, Bob Odenkirk said that he based his character Saul Goodman partly on the Hollywood agents Robert Evans and Ari Emmanuel. Emanuel, who was also the inspiration for the character played by Jeremy Piven in the TV series Entourage (2004) and a different Odenkirk character, Stevie Grant on The Larry Sanders Show (1992), is Odenkirk's actual agent.
The mascot for Walter Jr.'s high school is the Skyhawk. Signs can be seen on the walls in some of the school shots. Vince Gilligan went to L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, VA, where the mascot is the Skyhawk.
The two chemical elements Bromine and Barium, the abbreviated forms of which appear as high-lighted boldface fonts in the title - (Br)eaking) (Ba)d - have nothing to do with the manufacture of "crystal meth" (Methamphetamine).
Bryan Cranston (Walter), Anna Gunn (Skyler) and Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) have guest starred in Seinfeld (1989). Anna played Jerry's girlfriend in "The Glasses" (Season 5). Bryan made his first appearance as Dr. Tim Whatley, a dentist whose conversion to Judaism annoys Jerry when he realizes Tim only converted so he could tell Jewish-themed jokes, a year later, in "The Mom and Pop Store" (Season 6). Bob played Ben Galvant in "The Abstinence" (Season 8); Elaine is dating Ben because she thinks he is a doctor, but Ben reveals he hasn't passed his medical boards yet and proves inept in a real-life health crisis. Once Ben does become a doctor, he breaks up with Elaine and explains, Saul Goodman-style, that the point of becoming a doctor is to end up dating someone who was out of his league before he became one. Larry Hankin appeared on "Seinfeld" too and was co-creator Larry David's first choice to play Kramer. Other "Breaking Bad" actors who appeared on "Seinfeld": Nigel Gibbs, Mark Harelik and Jessica Hecht.
The title of the series is spelled using the chemical symbols for bromine ("Br"), and barium ("Ba"). Chemical symbols from the periodic table of the elements also appear in every name in the opening credits: a single capital letter, or letter-pair with only the first letter capitalized (in line with scientific convention), shown in a differing color.
Steven Bauer (Don Eladio) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) who play enemies in the show, previously starred together in the show South Beach (2006), the movie Doing Hard Time (2004) and in a production of the play "Balm in Gilead" which also starred Breaking Bad actor Mark Margolis (Hector Salamanca). Bauer and Margolis also acted alongside one another in another drug-related project Scarface (1983).
Several actors from this series have made guest appearances on David E. Kelley's legal drama The Practice (1997), all dissimilar to their character's on Breaking Bad: Anna Gunn played a district attorney who was not keen on breaking the law; Giancarlo Esposito played an African American who was wrongly accused of murder; Mark Margolis played an Italian American wrongly accused of being a mobster.
According to Dean Norris, while shooting the first half of season 5 he got a job offer to play one of the leading parts in a sitcom. Norris, knowing Breaking bad was ending and thinking more about providing for his family, suggested to Vince Gilligan the idea of killing Hank in those first eight episodes, arguing it would be shocking and unexpected. Gilligan refused, saying he very much needed Hank for the second half of the season. Hank ended up getting killed in one of the last episodes regardless.
Body count: 270, including 167 unnamed passengers killed during the plane crash in 'ABQ'. Excluding the plane crash, being shot is the most common way for characters to die, accounting for 56 of the 98 deliberate killings in the series.